Four Lawyers Take on History in Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case
When the Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on same-sex marriage, they will come from four people that many Americans probably have never heard of: attorneys Mary Bonauto, Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, John Bursch and Joseph Whalen.
But it will be through their voices — Bonauto and Hallward-Driemeier for same-sex marriage, and Bursch and Whalen arguing for state bans against it — that the court will decide whether gay and lesbian couples can marry and have their marriages recognized in all 50 states.
Bonauto and Hallward-Driemeier were selected last month after a legal “bake-off” of sorts in Michigan to decide who would advocate for gay marriage before the high court. Details about the bake-off remain under wraps, but those familiar with the process say that in order to select the best representative before the high court, lawyers typically negotiate among themselves. The winners are picked based on several factors, including how they perform in mock trials as well as how deeply lawyers have been involved in the issue to be heard over time.